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PR(09)72: Iceland fails to implement a Directive on noise restrictions at airports


The EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided to deliver a reasoned opinion to Iceland for failure to ensure implementation of a Directive on noise restrictions related to airports[1]. The Directive should have been implemented by 28 September 2003. 

The Directive shall ensure safeguarding internal market requirements by introducing similar operating restrictions at airports with comparable noise problems. It applies to airports with more than 50 000 movements by aeroplanes larger than 34 000 kg, or with more than 19 passenger seats. As the air traffic in Iceland falls outside the scope of the Directive, Iceland considered that implementation was not necessary.

However, according to the case law of the European Court of Justice the fact that an activity referred to in a directive does not exist in a particular State cannot release it from its obligation to implement directives. It is only where transposition is pointless for reasons of geography that it is not mandatory.

Delivering a reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. The EFTA Surveillance Authority may decide to bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Iceland fails to take satisfactory measures within two months of receiving the reasoned opinions.

For further information, please contact:

Ragnhild Behringer,
Internal Market Affairs Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 64



Brussels, 30 October 2009

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